Saturday, March 5, 2011

Brian Dettmer, book surgeon

I've been interested in the idea of altered books for some time and have thought about trying it myself... until I saw this work! (Maybe I'll still give it a shot sometime.)

Webster Two Point Oh, 2008, Altered Book, 11-1/2" x 19" x 11" by Brian Dettmer

"A lot of my work is intuitive when I'm developing it 
and then chance plays a major role before I begin carving 
so I never know where something will end up."

Originally from Chicago, Brian Dettmer currently lives and works in Atlanta, GA. He has been working with old books as his art material for about ten years.

Using knives, tweezers and surgical tools, Dettmer carves one page at a time. Nothing inside the out-of-date encyclopedias, medical journals, illustration books, or dictionaries is relocated or implanted, only removed. He manipulates the pages and spines, folds, bends, rolls, and stacks multiple books to create his book sculptures.

See 15 of his astonishing pieces here. See more art, and read a short interview here. His website is here.

I'm blown away.

Kingdom, 2008, Altered Books, 9-5/8" x 10-3/4" x 9-3/4" by Brian Dettmer


  1. This is just incredible. I have never seen anything like this! I'm blown away with you.

  2. ....This work leaves me speechless!!

  3. Isn't his work amazing? I found him in one of my art mags a long time ago. His work is so unique and so visionary, yet also approachable and real. It's truly wondrous.

  4. Wow! Those are amazing. And new to me - thanks for sharing them.

  5. Brian gives altered book new meaning. WOW!

  6. Good heavens!!!! My altered books are nothing like that! He's amazing. Thaks for sharing.